Charter School To Christen Classrooms, Gym

KIPP charter school has completed an $11.1 million expansion with help from the San Lorenzo Unified School District, the state and private donors


One of the region's best-kept educational secrets are the KIPP charter schools in San Lorenzo.

KIPP stands for the Knowledge Is Power Program. The local charters -- one a middle school and the other a high school -- are affiliated with a national foundation that supports 125 schools in 20 states. KIPP's goal is to make overachievers out of students from low-income backgrounds.

In 2003, a KIPP middle school opened in a surplus building in the San Lorenzo Unified School District.

In 2007 KIPP began accepting high school students on the same site, under a long term agreement with public school trustees in San Lorenzo.

Last year KIPP educated 400 middle schoolers (grades 5-8) and 475 high schoolers, many taking classes in temporary buildings. 

Now, thanks to $8.2 million from the state grants and loans, a $1.7 million investment from San Lorenzo Unified and $1.2 million in additional privately-raised funding, KIPP has expanded.

Monday it will formally dedicate 33,000 square feet of educational space including art and science classrooms, a library and computer lab, a gymnasium and new offices.

Students and teachers are already using the new facilities but at ceremonies this afternoon KIPP will invite parents and community members to view the facilities at 2005 Via Barrett in San Lorenzo.

Of KIPP's 875 students in San Lorenzo, 47 percent are Latino; 31 percent are Asian; 14 percent are African American; 8 percent are from another background; and 70 percent come from low-income households. 

The two KIPP schools in San Lorenzo shine in state standardized test scores, as Patch has reported in the past.

KIPP officials say that, measured over all 41,000 students in the program nationwide, their instructional process produces college graduates at four times the rate that is typical of low-income students.

Caroline Grannan January 14, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Here's a report on how KIPP schools achieve their high test scores. http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/education/blog/2011/03/high_attrition_funding_rates_f.html
Tom Abate January 14, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Thanks for the link, Caroline. For those who want the gist, I'd say the report is uncomplimentary in that it suggests KIPP gets results by cherry-picking the best students in its ethnic low- income niche through a higher attrition rate than public schools. A good question to ask. Here is another post from last year in which Caroline goes over publicity about so called Parental Trigger laws: http://perimeterprimate.blogspot.com/2011/02/grannan-powerful-parent-trigger.html
x January 14, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Well now, those 2 links sure do pack a bunch of arguing facts for me to rethink my exact feelings about my previous (stated above) comment.
Tom Abate January 14, 2013 at 08:47 PM
Arguing aside, it's nice to have $11.1 million flow into San Lorenzo and see new school buildings.
Caroline Grannan January 14, 2013 at 10:14 PM
I can no longer take advocacy positions for professional reasons, which is why I linked to a mainstream media report without giving an opinion. There's a long history of debate and controversy about KIPP; I'll leave it at that.


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